Stewards Penalize O’Connell for Contact in PWC GT Season Finale

PRINT PIRELLI WORLD CHALLENGE STAFF October 9, 2016GT Class, Series News

Parente Named Race Winner, O’Connell Now Fifth in Round 20

SALINAS, Calif. – Pirelli World Challenge race stewards have penalized initial GT winner Johnny O’Connell of Flowery Branch, Ga., for an on-track infraction on the final lap of Sunday’s Round 20 GT/GTA Round 19 GT Cup season finale in the Pirelli World Challenge Championships presented by Nissan at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

O’Connell, driving his No. 3 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R., was assessed a 2.1-second penalty due to “avoidable contact” in turn five with Porsche driver Patrick Long as the two drivers battled for the race lead on the 27th lap in the 50-minute sprint contest.

The penalty issued to O’Connell moves the four-time PWC GT champion to fifth in the final GT results and awards Alvaro Parente the race victory.

Parente, driver of the No. 9 K-PAX Racing McLaren 650S, clinched the GT driver’s point championship for his initial second place finish earlier in the afternoon. This win marks the Portugal driver’s sixth GT victory in 2016.

The final GT results now list Parente in first followed by Michael Cooper in the No. 8 Cadillac Racing Cadillac ATS-V.R., Bryan Heitkotter in the No. 05 Always Evolving/Replay/Nissan GT Academy Nissan GTR, Long and O’Connell.

“The penalty was accessed to Johnny O’Connell for avoidable contact entering turn five on the final lap of today’s GT/GTA/GT Cup Round 20,” said Greg Gill, CEO and president of WC Vision, producers of the Pirelli World Challenge. “The stewards looked at various angles of the incident and determined that Johnny had two wheels off the track and came back onto the track, making contact with Patrick. This contact knocked Patrick off the track in turn five. And the penalty was determined this evening after hours of review.”

Monterey, CA – Revised results from Sunday, Oct 9, 2016 Pirelli World Challenge Championship GT-GTA Round 20, GT Cup Round 19 Race, part of the Pirelli World Challenge Grand Prix Presented by NISSAN at MRLS.

Pos. PIC, Class, Name, Hometown, Car, Laps, Status
1. 1, GT, Alvaro Parente, Porto Portugal, McLaren 650S GT3, 27, Running
2. 2, GT, Michael Cooper, Syosset NY, Cadillac ATS-V.R. GT3, 27, Running
3. 3, GT, Bryan Heitkotter, Fresno CA, Nissan GTR GT3, 27, Running
4. 4, GT, Patrick Long, Manhattan Beach CA, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 27, Running
5. 5, GT, Johnny O’Connell, Flowery Branch GA, Cadillac ATS-V.R. GT3, 27, Running
6. 6, GT, Jon Fogarty, Bend OR, McLaren 650S GT3, 27, Running
7. 7, GT, J.D. Davison, Denver CO, Nissan GTR GT3, 27, Running
8. 8, GT, Gunner Jeannette, Salt Lake City UT, Porsche 991 GT3 R, 27, Running
9. 9, GT, Spencer Pumpelly, Atlanta GA, Acura TLX-GT, 27, Running
10. 10, GT, Ryan Eversley, Atlanta GA, Acura TLX-GT, 27, Running
11. 11, GT, Michael Lewis, Laguna Beach CA, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 27, Running
12. 1, GTA, Cooper MacNeil, Hinsdale IL, Porsche 991 GT3 R, 27, Running
13. 2, GTA, Tim Pappas, Boston MA, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 27, Running
14. 3, GTA, Andrew Kim, Seoul South Korea, Bentley Continental GT3, 27, Running
15. 4, GTA, Andy Wilzoch, Aurora CO, Porsche GT3R, 27, Running
16. 5, GTA, Brent Holden, Newport CA, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 27, Running
17. 1, GT Cup, Corey Fergus, Columbus OH, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 27, Running
18. 2, GT Cup, Sloan Urry, Park City UT, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 27, Running
19. 6, GTA, Michael Schein, Glen Cove NY, Porsche 911 GT3 R, 27, Running
20. 18, GT, Austin Cindric, Charlotte NC, McLaren 650S GT3, 27, Running
21. 19, GT, Colin Thompson, Doylestown PA, McLaren 650S GT3, 26, Not Running
22. 3, GT Cup, Chris Thompson, San Clemente CA, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 26, Running
23. 7, GTA, Jorge De La Torre, Mexico City, Aston Martin Vantage GT3, 25, Running
24. 8, GTA, Drew Regitz, Denver CO, Audi R8 LMS GT3, 21, Not Running
25. 25, GT, Fabian Hamprecht, Beckenried Switzerland, Bentley Continental GT3, 9, DNF
26. 26, GT, Kyle Marcelli, Barrie ON, Audi R8 LMS GT3, 1, DNF
27. 27, GT, Mike Skeen, Charlotte NC, Dodge Viper GT3-R, 0, DNF
28. 28, GTA, Martin Fuentes, Mexico City Mexico, Ferrari 458 Italia GT3, 0, DNF
29. 29, GT, Jonathan Summerton, Redwood City CA, Mercedes AMG SLS GT3, 0, DNS
30. 30, GT Cup, Alex Welch, Englewood CO, Porsche 911 GT3 Cup, 0, DNS